Retail trade group hires new chief lobbyist

"There are a lot of small and mid-sized local retailers that I am enthusiastic about bringing into the public policy discussion," French said.

French has also lobbied for the International Foodservice Distributors Association. He is a former senior legislative assistant to ex-Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) and also worked for former Rep. Matthew Rinaldo (R-N.J.). 

“David is one of the most experienced and influential lobbyists in Washington today. He has what it takes to lead our new government relations department and take our nationally recognized advocacy efforts to an entirely new level," Matthew Shay, NRF's president and CEO, said in a statement. 

In its announcement of French's hiring on Tuesday, the retail trade association said it has begun a "restructuring process." The group plans to hire additional staff for its government relations team and create a new communications and public affairs department to support its lobbying efforts.